Published: 06th September 2023
Bengal governor appoints officiating VC of another varsity amid row
This appointment came merely hours after the West Bengal Chief Minister launched a scathing attack against him over the appointments
Amid a row over his move to appoint interim vice-chancellors (VCs) in West Bengal state universities, State Governor CV Ananda Bose has appointed the interim VC of another state-run university. These universities have been running without a functional head for months.
Earlier, Bose had appointed the officiating VCs of seven universities, including Presidency University, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, and Burdwan University.
The name of Professor Kajal De was announced by the governor on the night of Tuesday, September 5 as the officiating VC of the newly established Kanyashree University, reports PTI.
This announcement came from him merely hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack against him during a Teachers' Day programme, where she accused him of interfering in the state's education system. In her tirade, the chief minister also threatened to sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhavan if the governor continued to function in this manner.
"Hon'ble Chancellor today appointed Prof Kajal De Vice-Chancellor (officiating) of Kanyashree University, West Bengal," the Raj Bhavan said in a statement.
De, who was a professor of Mathematics at Netaji Subhas Open University, was discharging her duties as the interim VC of Diamond Harbour Women's University since March after being appointed by Bose.
According to sources, the governor has also finalised the interim vice-chancellors of eight other universities and appointment letters "will be issued soon" to them.
State government attacks governor
Mamata Banerjee, attacking Bose over the appointments on Tuesday, alleged that the governor was ignoring the state-appointed search committee, and is appointing interim VCs according to his whims.
Banerjee further noted that VCs must be picked from the names suggested by the five-member search committee, and alleged that Bose was appointing people at his will with no consideration to the suggestions of the panel.
She had promised a 'tit-for-tat' action and threatened to block funding to all universities that followed the governor's directions.
"I will see how you give salaries to these vice-chancellors," she had said, and continued, “We will not allow this to continue. If the governor thinks he is bigger than the chief minister, we will fight him back. He should not forget that he is nominated to that post."
"If federalism is interfered with by taking away rights (of the state governments), I will be forced to sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhavan. We will not allow injustice, Bengal knows how to fight back. Wait and watch," Banerjee added.